Blogging has become very popular and starting a blog has never been easier. Writing and blogging online is also very much about images and photographs that complement the content you are producing. While many sub-niches can get away by not having any images at all (these usually are highly technical niches), the majority of bloggers today are used to have at least 2-3 images per post.
The problem arises when beginner bloggers realize that their competition and other bloggers are using images without having the permission to do so. You may even have used images from other blogs yourself while thinking it probably would be “ok”. In addition there are those who simply ignore the matter all together. It's possible to take the approach of “remove only when necessary”, but some others like to play it safe. Copyright infringements can have serious consequences.
Luckily, these days it is a lot easier to find – good quality – license free images than it was, lets say, just a few years ago. The market with millions of professional and beginner bloggers is demanding for such type of content. Many new sites with royalty free images have sprouted as a result, providing nearly unlimited resources of free photographs to use. That's certainly enough to have you running ten different sites in ten different niches, and still have plenty of unused images!
When using “free” images, you should consider that there are different licensing terms and conditions which could apply to your selected images. Under Creative Commons, you will find several different licenses as well as Public Domain (CC0). In the following we've collected for you some great sites where you can download copyright free images.
10 Great sources for copyright free images
- Startup Stock Photos
- Little Visuals
- 1 Million Free Pictures
Note: Do double-check the terms and conditions of the licensing terms for these resources, many of these have a strict “change of licensing without notice” rules in place!
Flickr is a complete goldmine of free creative commons photographs. Hundreds of millions of images that do require an attribution, but in many cases – a simple name/surname of the photographer and a link is sufficient enough. We do recommend giving authors credit where it is due. Not all images on Flickr are “digital era” quality photos, but many of the images are taken with state of the art cameras, giving your readers a high-quality experience.
Without question, Pixabay has grown into one of the largest free image resources in the world. There are now roughly 1,100,000 images available, none of which require any attributes back to the site. You can just download your preferred images and use them on your website or blog. The only real limitation is that you need to create an account in order to download full-resolution images.
We were sceptical at first, but this turned into one of the most colourful and rich experiences of free images that we've seen so far: Unsplash. And, if none of the photos appeal to you, while not grab your camera and submit your own? Truthfully, there are some truly stunning images available.
The free images on Gratisography are the reflection of the one photographer who maintains the website as well, Ryan McGuire. It's always nice to try something new for your blog posts, or whatever the type of content you're working on.
Pickupimage is one of the largest collections of free photographs. Free download high quality free stock images, public domain photos. You can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission. Find and share outstanding free photos.
Startup Stock Photos
Are you working in the startup field, perhaps technology? Startup Stock Photos is a great resource for anyone who writes about computers, programming, or technology in general. Lots of images of Apple computers, workspaces, and more.
These guys have evolved over the years in every possible way, and while there is no direct way of browsing all the images at once, a simple search for a keyword such as “sea” returns hundreds of images to choose from, so the Morguefile library is quite large!
Yes, stockphotos on this website are completely free. Use them however, whenever and wherever you want. Even commercially. Skitterphoto can be a little slow at times, but the quality of the images makes up for it. Skitterphoto is another great resource for license free images.
Do you blog or write about nature, perhaps environment? Little Visuals offers seven images every seven days, and the majority of them will be related to the outside world. There is some great quality stuff to be found in the archives.
1 Million Free Pictures
1 Million Free Pictures is a public blog that constantly lists free images to use based on several different categories, you can browse the posts by dates, but there is also a widget at the footer that lists the most popular posts of all time, and also the monthly favourites.
Conclusion: Resources for license free images & photos
As you can see, the variety is there. We could go on and on with these types of websites with copyright free images. Be aware that some of these sites are image search engines that combine together what other sites are listing, making it more accessible. We hope you've enjoyed this roundup and please let us know in the comments if you've any questions.